Only 23% of UK adults support drone deliveries, new poll finds

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A new Institue of Mechanical Engineers poll has found that only 23% of adults support drone deliveries.

Highlighted in a report titled ‘Public Perceptions: Drones’, the low level of support comes from concerns including package theft and accidents.

Commenting on the report, IMechE head of engineering Dr Jenifer Baxter speaking to Professional Engineering, thinks media representation has played its part.

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She said “One of the things we have seen over the last year is a fair amount of negative press over the use of drones around airports, the sorts of cases where drones are used inappropriately… that can sit in the back of your head.”

Adding: “If you live in a national park, or the Scottish Highlands, a drone could be a really good option – but that could bring noise pollution to an area that didn’t have it before.”

The report found how only 18% of people aged 65-74 would be happy to receive a drone delivery, because of concerns about invasion of privacy and accidents in the sky.

25-34-year-olds were the most enthusiastic, with roughly 48% in support.

Of the 2010 adults surveyed, 45% said the top concern is people stealing packages. 39% were worried about dropped deliveries causing accidents, while 30% mentioned damage to delivered

In making recommedations for drone delivery, the IMechE, stated: “The drone-using community, companies and the government need to work together to develop a public awareness campaign to increase the understanding of drone regulation and oversight.

“In order for the public to trust drones it is essential people understand them and know about their advantages and their limits. The public need to be more aware of the existing rules in place that govern them and who oversees the implementation of these rules.”

Concluding: “The government should consult on new regulations on drone deliveries, in particular addressing the concerns about the wider community impact of deliveries to people’s homes. There are specific concerns around preventing accidents in the sky, having too many drones flying in a neighbourhood and the potential impact on personal privacy.”

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Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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